Short Stories

Entire and Perfect Chrysolite
—R. A. Lafferty

  •   · Excerpt    
      "Should there be another reason, Shackleton? Well, there is; but we go about it awkwardly and without knowing what we're doing. The thing about humans which nobody apparently wishes to notice, is that we're a species which has never had an adult culture. We feel that lack more and more as we become truly adult in other ways. It grows tedious to stretch out a childhood forever. The easy enjoyments, the easy rationality, the easy governments and sciences, are really childish things. We master them while we are yet children, and we look beyond. But there isn't anything beyond the childishness, Shackleton. We must find a deeper view somehow. We are looking for that something deeper here."  —R. A. Lafferty
       · Commentary
      “In the ironic “Entire and Perfect Chrysolite”, the two [everyday and archetypal] worlds are sundered from one another completely, for the bright, constricted “Ecumene” (Eurasia) denies the existence of Africa, its primitive counterpart. That the dark world is there nonetheless is proved when some irresponsible people invoke it, finding it a more dangerous place than they are able to realize.”
        —Sheryl Smith, Riverside Quarterly Vol. 7 No. 2 (1982)
         · 1973 Damon Knight, The Golden Road    · 1971 Hugo Nominee, Best Short Story    · 1971 Nebula Nominee, Best Short Story

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